Monthly Archives: June 2005

Life and Legacy of Thomas Todhunter Shields.” In it will be the lectures given at a conference we did in April commemorating the death of Shields. There will also be primary sources corresponding to the lecture topics. I’m quite happy with how it’s going so far, and God-willing we’ll get a publisher and have it on shelves soon. This is the first book I’ve ever done, so I’m quite excited. It’s been a lot of hard-work, but it will be well worth it when it’s over. I was just working on a chapter on Shields’ Calvinism which is pretty cool.
While I edited (which is mindless labour) I listened to (again, for the 7th time) the debate over God’s existence between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein. I’ve honestly never listened to a better debate in my life. Others are comparable, but not hear as good. It’s always such a boost to my faith to listen to Bahnsen trounce Stein. My favourite is this line:

Dr. Bahnsen

Okay;  I heard you mention logical binds and logical self contradictions in your speech.  You did say that?

Dr. Stein

I used that phrase, yes.

Dr. Bahnsen

Do you believe there are laws of logic then?

Dr. Stein

Absolutely.

Dr. Bahnsen

Are they universal?

Dr. Stein

They are agreed upon by human beings.  They aren’t laws that exist out in nature.  They are…

Dr. Bahnsen

Are they simply conventions then?

Dr. Stein

They are conventions, but they are conventions that are self verifying.

Dr. Bahnsen

Are they sociological laws, or laws of thought?

Dr. Stein

They are laws of thought which are interpreted by men;  and promulgated by men.

Dr. Bahnsen

Are they material in nature?

Dr. Stein

How can a law be material?

Dr. Bahnsen

That’s a question I’m going to ask you! 

Thank you.

[audience laughter]

 

Cross Examination:  Dr. Stein questions Dr. Bahnsen.

 

David:  At this time you have an opportunity to cross examine Dr. Bahnsen.

Dr. Stein

Dr. Bahnsen, would you call god material or immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen

Immaterial.

Dr. Stein

What is something that’s immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen

Something not extended in space.

Dr. Stein

Can you give me an example of anything other than god that’s immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen

Laws of logic. 

 

[ Audience Laughter ]

[David:  Can I ask that you hold that down please?]

 

Ahhhh, that’s so funny. I can’t believe he walked right into that one. I guess he can’t help it though, that’s the irrationality of a worldview that excludes the Christian God!

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Dr. Haykin just gave me a booklet by John Crotts. We met up with John at the Bunyan Conference in PA last April and then went over to tour around Princeton with him. He’s a pastor in Atlanta, GA and is a really good guy. He wrote:

Mighty Men: The Starter’s Guide to Leading Your Family

I’ve read a chapter of it so far and it looks pretty good.

My old friend Greg McManus is here today for a meeting and we’ll likely go for a pint later on. He gave me John Stott’s commentary on Ephesians as a birthday gift which I was glad to receive.

We’re going to Windsor again for the long-weekend. On Monday Vicky and I will start house-sitting for Dr. Haykin for two weeks.

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Burress book

I just purchased:

Baptist Refreshments According to Scriptures – Luther Rice Burress

I bought it primarily for the section on the Lord’s Supper. I have an interest in the history of Baptistic views of the Supper. The 17th century Particular Baptists held to a Reformed view of the Supper, but later on the 1800s (my guess is because of the Enlightenment) the Baptists went to a Memorialist view. Much the same happened in other Reformed circles.
My own viewpoint is the “spiritual presence” view that Calvin held. I used to call it “real presence” but changed the terminology after reading Ligon Duncan’s article on the Supper in the second volume of “The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century.” It was Keith Mathison’s book “Given For You” that helped change my view from the Memorialist position.
I don’t believe that the elements change into the body and blood of Christ (ala, Catholicism), nor do I believe that somehow the “essence” of Christ’s body and blood surround the elements (ala, Lutheranism). But I think that a bare memorial is also wrong, which is what most Baptist churches in Canada hold to. I believe that I am, by the Holy Spirit, spiritually feeding on Christ.
So, I’m interested to see what Burress says of the Lord’s Supper.
There is some other doctrinal stuff there as well.

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My buddy Scott Bowman and his family are moving to Moosonee for the summer. He is going to do an interim stint there until September. They left this morning, so Vicky and I went over to their place for dinner last night. I had a good time, except for the horrid headache I had which made me cut the night short. As soon as I got home I buried my head under a pillow and slept all night. Needless to say, I was up very early this morning. When Scott gets back in September he is going to spend his time working on his PhD thesis until he goes to Ireland in the winter. He’s filling in for the Baptist church in Crumlin, Northern Ireland, until their pastor gets back. The whole trip to Ireland is sort’ve a test for him to see if he’s the right man for the job when the pastor retires next year. I really hope he gets the job, Ireland is amazing and I can go visit him. :)
Scott is doing his PhD with the University of Praetoria in South Africa. His thesis topic is the life and thought of John Ryland Jr. an 18th Century Calvinistic Baptist. Chances are a publisher like The Banner of Truth or Evangelical Press will publish it. I hope that maybe Paternoster will put it in their series “Studies in Baptist History and Thought.” That would be excellent because they are very scholarly books. If Banner or EP were to pick it up, he’d getter a wider read though.
For a number of years now I’ve been batting the idea of a thesis topic around in my head. Eventually I’d like to do a PhD., but it’s a matter of timing. I’d probably do a ThM here at TBS first and then do a PhD later on. The ThM thesis and the PhD thesis would likely be the same subject so the research I do for the ThM would go towards the PhD.
My thoughts are to do study either an aspect of the theology of James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh or a life of Alexander Carson. Not sure though.

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Here’s one for ya:

“It is better to think of church in the ale-house than to think of the ale-house in church.” – Martin Luther

Gotta love him!

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I just finished a book review of “A Reformed Baptist Manifesto” by Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos and sent it to the Evangelical Baptist for publication. I’m anxious to see it published. I’m also anxious to see a review I did for Christian Week on the life of J. Gresham Machen (by Stephen Nichols) published.
I’ll start writing a review of the Lady Jane Grey biography for Christian Week.

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Baby don’t ya do it, don’t do it…

…don’t ya break my heart.

It was a good weekend, I was glad to be home. Especially considering I was in the hospital on Sunday, I’d rather have been there than here in T.O. What ailed me you’re asking??? It was a good ole case of kidney stones —– again.
Yeah, ouch. Worse than giving birth I hear.
I stayed in Windsor an extra day or so though, so that was alright. Unfortunately I couldn’t enjoy it to the fullest extent because my back was so sore. I just sat by my in-law’s pool and read – taking the occasional dip and playing with their Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Max. He’s my new favourite dog.
My buddy Ben lent me a “Classic Albums” DVD of The Band and I watched that with great delight. He also lent me the new deluxe edition of Easy Rider, I haven’t watched that yet though. I’m looking forward to it.

Other than that, I didn’t do much. Aside from the kidney stones, it was pretty relaxing.

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I received as a belated birthday present from my sister the following:

Sketches of Jewish Social Life – Alfred Edersheim
Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah – Alfred Edersheim
The Temple, Its Ministry and Service – Alfred Edersheim
Old Testament Bible History – Alfred Edersheim

I was stoked to get these reprints of such standard works. Edersheim was a Jew who converted to Christianity and subsequently taught at Oxford in the 1800s. He was an excellent and well-respected scholar. Just perusing these books makes me realize how good of a scholar he was for his time. And the books are very well-written and lively – I’m looking forward to diving into them.
With the recent interest in Second Temple Judaism amongst scholars, I hope that reading these books will give me some background to help me understand the issues. The one on Jewish social life should help immensely.

I just finished Faith Cook’s biography of Lady Jane Grey, and I’ll tell you, it was amazing. It may be one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. I started it two days ago and finished it today, I could hardly put it down. Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days, the interval between Edward VI and Bloody Mary. Jane was solidly Reformed and ended up being martyred for her theology. The kicker is that she was 16 at the time of her death. She was reading Plato in Greek when she was very young, and was a brilliant theologian for her age. She corresponded with men like Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and other Reformers. I highly, highly recommend this book. Very encouraging to one’s faith, especially if they are going through times of persecution for it.

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Based on the lj interests lists of those who share my more unusual interests, the interests suggestion meme thinks I might be interested in
1. reformation score: 19
2. covenant theology score: 19
3. theonomy score: 17
4. cornelius van til score: 15
5. steeleye span score: 14
6. douglas wilson score: 13
7. credenda/agenda score: 13
8. paedocommunion score: 13
9. presbyterian score: 12
10. reformed score: 12
11. augustine score: 12
12. crec score: 12
13. postmillennialism score: 11
14. creationism score: 11
15. paedobaptism score: 11
16. cre score: 10
17. preterism score: 10
18. caedmon’s call score: 10
19. psalms score: 10
20. eschatology score: 10
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It’s hot out today. Some of us walked down to Nathan Phillips Square for lunch today – we ate street-vendor sausage and ice-cream. Justin and Elisha are going to NYC for two months, so it was our last hurrah before we see them in the Big Apple. I’m gonna hang out with Justin this evening before I go to Windsor for the weekend, Vicky and Corinne are leaving earlier than me. Oh how I’m looking forward to going home.

I listened to the interview with Doug Wilson by the White Horse Inn guys. I used to listen to them all the time a number of years ago, so it was cool to hear them again. It’s a good radio show to listen to. Wilson is good too, I always enjoy his thoughts on things. His wit and his ability to critique both Christian and non-Christian culture is brilliant.
They talked about Wilson’s move from regular evangelical Christianity to Reformed Christianity. I guess he used to be a Baptist even. They also spoke about the Federal Vision theology that he is part of, especially the issue of imputation. I think that I’m where Wilson is at in a lot of ways. I believe that confessional language is good and helpful, but you’re not a heretic if you don’t always use it. For those who want to emphasize union with Christ as the vehicle for justification instead of imputation, although I prefer the imputation language, I’m not going to throw a fit. As long as the cash value is the same and we affirm that our righteousness is not our own, but an “alien righteousness” as Luther put it, then I don’t think that we have to divide.
But I also very much see the point made by Kim Riddlebarger about the necessity to use confessional language for clarity sake. I believe that the Federal Vision has muddied the waters in a lot of senses, and likely will lead to outright denials of imputation (and it’s cash value) down the line. Confessional language is good to preserve the truth. By the way, of all of the Federal Vision proponents, I appreciate Wilson the most. But I am not a paedobaptist, so my views of the Covenant are drastically different than his. But in terms of the theology of justification, I can see that he has a point.

I’ll give an example of what I mean:

John Murray uses the term “Adamic administration” instead of “covenant of works” when speaking of the probationary period of Adam in the Garden. In a sense, he broke from the Westminster Confession because it is very specific when it says that Adam was in a “covenant of works” with God. But, did Murray really break with the WCF? He realized that to call it a “covenant” wasn’t Biblical in the sense that the Bible doesn’t call it a covenant. We can infer a covenantal relationship, but the Bible isn’t explicit about it. “Adamic administration” gets rid of some of the baggage that comes with using purely theological (as opposed to Biblical) language. Yet, the content of what the Westminster Divines and John Murray both say about Adam’s probationary period in the Garden is essentially the same. I’m not about to say that Murray’s terminology is wrong, although I do see the merit in using “covenant of works” as a term and wouldn’t object to using it at all.
The same goes for imputation/union with Christ language. So long as both can subscribe to the Confessional intent of an alien righteousness that is grounded in the life and death of Christ being given to the sinner and the sinner’s works have nothing to do with it, then I’m not going to kick someone out of my church. But I appreciate the theological responsibility of someone who uses “imputation” language to help clarify matters. I myself would subscribe to the imputation of both the active and passive obedience of Christ to the sinner as theological categories, although I recognize that those specific terms are not used in the Bible (neither is the Trinity or innerrancy for that matter, and I subscribe to those!).

I’m about two chapters in to John Piper’s “Counted Righteous in Christ” so maybe my view will change after I’m done the book. But right now, I’m fine with union with Christ language. Justification is forensic and non-transformative – if we can keep those distinctions, then I’m fine.

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White Horse Inn Broadcast with Doug Wilson

Here is the audio file for an interview between The White Horse Inn guys and Doug Wilson:

http://www.whitehorseinn.org/listenonline.htm

I just started listening to it, so I can’t comment. I’ll venture a guess that it’s good.

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I been livin’ the blues every night without you…

Vicky and I on the deck of our cabin.

Justin and Elisha.

Elisha, Corinne and Vicky in the cabin.

Ian with cans of pop.

Legolas?

Legolas.

It was very windy up the Temagami Fire-tower.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been up that thing, and it’s never been scary.  They were all horrified.

Look at the size of the steak on the grill.  Huge.

Skeet shooting over the lake.

Justin and Ken.

Dangerous.  Don’t you think she looks like Sheryl Crow??

I had to post this one for Vicky.  It’s my favourite past time.

And finally, my favourite one of Vicky and I overlooking Lake Temagami.

That’s probably all the pics I’ll post, as the others are a bit redundant.  I hope you digged em.

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This is odd.

You scored as Karl Barth. The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.

Anselm

100%

Karl Barth

100%

Martin Luther

80%

John Calvin

67%

Jonathan Edwards

67%

Paul Tillich

60%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

60%

Jürgen Moltmann

27%

Augustine

7%

Charles Finney

0%

Which theologian are you?
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Some thoughts…

Here I am sitting in the office doing whatever. As I sat, I realized that I could hear a group of people yelling through megaphones in the distance. Of course, as ever-curious as I seem to be, I ran to all of the windows to see what was up. The trees in Allan Gardens prevented my vision from revealing to me just what it was that was making all the commotion. So, of course, I went outside.

I walked up Jarvis Street to see a small group of about thirty women with banners and megaphones chanting. I couldn’t hear what they were saying from that distance because of the traffic, so I edged closer. I thought to myself that it could be a Lesbian advocacy group getting ramped up for Pride Day. But upon closer inspection the banners revealed that they were from a sexual assault group in Hamilton. They had come to protest against sexual violence.

A just and worthy cause no doubt. One that needs much support, both by the government and it’s citizens. Sexual violence deserves capital punishment in my opinion.

But, there was something strange about the whole event. It didn’t seem so much as an advocacy against sexual violence (although they did chant, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, sexual violence has got to go!”), as much as it was aggravation against anyone who is not a woman or who is not a liberal. There were no men in the group, all of their signs had that funny logo of a circle with a cross at the bottom of it (kinda like the one for men, y’know? The circle with the arrow coming diagonally out of the side. I always wondered why the women get the cross and the men get the arrow?), and when they walked by the church they chanted, “Not the church, not the state, women must control their fate.”

If you were part of a group that was looking for help from anyone who may be sympathetic to your cause, why scream against possible large supporters? Are they specifically saying that they don’t want the churches help if it offered it? If our church donated $100,000 dollars to their centre, would they refuse it? Hardly.
Even stranger was their later chant about wanting more funding from the provincial government. Why decry help from the state, and then scream they want state funding? That’s confusing at best, hypocritical at worst.
Another odd thing was that one of the women had a logo of Che Guevara’s face on her bag. I wonder how many atrocities against women have been committed in the name of Che’s ideology? Wasn’t Che a man anyways???

I now feel marginalized. Theirs is a group that is fighting a good fight and I would definitely consider helping out their cause. The problem I now face is that I’m a man and I’m a conservative Christian. Ah well, they probably wouldn’t want my help anyways.

It seems to me that the only consistent, logical and worthy cause is one rooted deeply in the Christian Scriptures. They shouldn’t seek autonomy from God, they should run to Him as their great protector. It’s funny how that quick little demonstration outside displayed the self-defeating philosophy of a worldview that excludes God.

Now I have that song by The Exploited in my head.

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I can only be brief cause I’ve got a lot of work to do today, but I want to give an overview of our weekend.  I think I’ll do it in point form and in random order:

– spent the better part of Sunday on an island.  We cooked food on a campfire, drank Heineken, lay around, explored etc.  The sun was amazing and we felt totally relaxed.

– Sunday morning we had a time of devotion to the God who created all that surrounded us.  We sang about half a dozen hymns, read Scripture and Justin shared some thoughts from the Gospel of Mark.

– Saturday night and Sunday night we lit up some fireworks.  We had these ones that are supposed to be the loudest in Canada – oh how wrong they were.  If that was the loudest, then Canada sucks.  It was still fun though.  We have a bow and some arrows and some of the arrows are crappy.  So we tied fireworks to the crap arrows, lit them, and fired them over the lake.  It wasn’t as cool looking as we had hoped.  Fun to do none-the-less.

– took the boat out on the lake and drove around for the heck of it.

– Monday we drove up to Temagami, climbed the big Fire-Tower over-looking the town, shopped in the stores, bought steak for later on.

– took the scenic route to Temagami down Tonomo Lake Road.  Passed over this awesome rapids on a bridge and hung out there taking pictures for a while.

– Monday night we had a huge steak and chicken dinner cooked over the campfire in front of the cabin.  We all agreed it was likely the best steak we’d ever eaten.  The girls cooked up some amazing food inside and we also roasted potatoes on the fire.

– Tuesday morning my aunt’s boyfriend Ken brought out the 12 gauge and we shot trap over the lake for an hour and a half or so.  That was easily one of the highlights.  I only hit one clay pigeon which sucked.  Ken, on the other hand, missed only once.  Each time he shot, we fired two clay pigeons into the air and he hit both with two shells.  It was cool.

– we played Taboo on Sunday night in the cabin and euchre on Monday night.

– Monday night we also went to the garbage dump to see if we could spot any bears.  There weren’t any unfortunately.

– canoed around the bay numerous times.

That is all I can think of for now.  It was a really fun trip and we all got along great.  You know how sometimes you can have friends whom you love, but when you spend a number of days with them they can get on your nerves?  Well, this didn’t happen with Justin and Elisha, we had an awesome time hanging out with them.

The God of creation is such a good God and blessed us with a wonderful trip.  His grace is matchless and infinite.

I spoke to my mom today and she is getting out of the hospital.  Apparently she just had a flare-up of colitis.  Hopefully it’s not chronic – thankfully it’s not cancer.  She gets the results of her biopsy in two weeks.  Thanks to any who prayed for her, it is greatly appreciated!

On a side note, I was talking with a friend about pastoral visitation.  His experiences in Dutch Reformed congregations is that the pastor rarely visits his congregants.  My pastor, on the other hand, is a model of pastoral theology.  He visited my mom in the hospital a good number of times, considering the short period of time she was there.  And they were good visits too, not just a quick how do you do.  He actually spent time visiting.  He’s literally the best pastor I’ve ever come across.  He’s a good preacher, a good theologian, a good man and a great pastor.

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I’ve been listening to this debate: http://audio.northcitychurch.com/Manata_Sansone_Debate.html Between Paul Manata and Derek Sansone. They are debating the existence of God. Derek Sansone is arguing for the atheistic position, and thus far has been utterly demolished. Truthfully though, he’s not really debating, he’s just going on and on about how he feels. I’d like to see Paul Manata really debate someone, because right now it’s hard to say if he’d be a great debater. Gene Cook is moderating. I’ve listened to him debate atheists, and though I believe that he won, he wasn’t too great.
Again, my favourite debate is the one between Greg Bahnsen and atheist Gordon Stein. Stein was absolutely destroyed. He didn’t have a leg to stand on after Bahnsen was done with him.

Why do I take such joys in seeing atheism obliterated in front of a mass audience???

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Ahhhh.  I love receiving books in the mail, especially when they’re for free.  Today I received:

Lady Jane Grey: Nine Day Queen of England – Faith Cook
1689 Baptist Confession of Faith: A Modern Exposition – Samuel E. Waldron

I feel very tired today.  The weekend trip relaxed me, so I feel blah.  The sun is shining and I wish I was still up north.  I’ll be getting pictures today, so I’ll update when I get them.  We’re going back to Windsor this weekend which I’m looking forward to.  After that I’ll work one more week at TBS and then I house-sit for Dr. Haykin in the beginning of July.  It’ll be nice to get out of the city for a while.  Then we’ll come back to T.O. for two weeks and then go to NYC and finally back to the cottage.  I can’t blingin’ wait.

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I was gone from Toronto since Saturday afternoon. Vicky and I went up to my family cottage with Corinne, Justin and Elisha. The Lord blessed us with an awesome trip, beautiful weather, relaxation and fun. I can’t wait to go back up!
I’ll post more in detail later on.

Please pray for my mom, she’s in the hospital right now with internal bleeding which isn’t good.

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Goin’ up the country, babe do you wanna go?

I dreamt about that Canned Heat song last night. I dreamt that I was listening to it with a bunch of Christians. As I was singing along, they all had these horrified looks on their faces because I thought the song was great.

“I’m goin’, I’m goin’,
Where the water tastes like wine,
I’m going where the water tastes like wine.
You can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time.”

That line just about did them in. Everybody was questioning me about my love for the song and I had to provide a theological argument about why I thought it was alright. Crazy eh? Sad thing is, it might happen one day.

Speaking of “going up the country.” A bunch of us are going up to my cottage this afternoon for four days. I’m totally stoked to go. I don’t know if the water tastes like wine up there (maybe engine oil).

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Spicy, spicy, spicy…

Last night John Bell ate dinner with us. We had lasagna, garlic-bread and salad.
Later on Justin and Elisha came over to watch “The Phantom of the Opera.” We didn’t end up finishing, because we talked too much before. I’m glad, because what we did see of it I didn’t care for. Justin and I kept making fun of it all the way through – I’m sure we were annoying. Seriously though.
Justin and I had a coupla Guineeez. I’m looking forward to hanging out with them this weekend at the cottage.
I dreamt about being Up North last night.

Why is Spicy McHaggis so funny? Even though it’s kinda bad.

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